Request a place Operational / On Scene Command

Course Details

  • Course duration: 4 days
  • Course category: Command, Resilience
  • Start/finish time: Start time: 08:15hrs
    Finish time for final day: 17:30hrs (approximately)

The operational response to a CBRN, terrorism event or Major Incident is recognised as being extremely complex and challenging; and is likely to require a mutual aid response in order to assist the Trust managing the incident.

This course provides a common standard of initial training and education aligned to the Ambulance Commanders National Occupational Standards (NOS), Ambulance Service Command standards as well as the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP) Joint Doctrine: The Interoperability Framework and National Ambulance Service Command and Control Guidance document (2015)

This course is now competency based (Pass or Fail) and delegates will be formally assessed throughout the duration of the four days.

This is not a refresher course.  Once this course has been completed it is your responsibility to maintain a portfolio to show Continued Professional Development (CPD).

It is essential the Pre-course assignment (please see pre-course material tab) is emailed to the course lead, this can be no later than 72hrs prior to the course start.  Throughout the course there will be daily knowledge checks to monitor your progress.

Course overview

Course Aim

The course will be formally assessed by Exam on day four which is pass or fail.  The content is aligned to National Occupational Standards (NOS) designed by Skills for Justice, which have been approved by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE). The NOS elements covered in this course are as follows:-





Work in co-operation with other organisations



Share information with other organisations



Manage information to support civil protection decision making



Anticipate and assess the risk of emergencies



Conduct debriefing after an emergency, exercise or other activity



Warn, inform and advise community in the event of emergencies



Respond to emergencies at the operational level



Lead meetings



Take effective decisions



Address the needs of individuals during the initial response to emergencies


For many the course will act as an introduction to the National Ambulance Commander NOS.  On successful completion of the course, delegates will receive an electronic copy of the Operational Commander CPD, thus enabling them to start constructing their CPD immediately.

The course aims to equip delegates with the required knowledge, understanding and awareness of supporting agencies in order to perform the role of Operational Commander at an incident. The skills taught on this course can be utilized at any major incident.

Course Programme contents

  • Role and responsibility of NHS Ambulance services at Major incidents
  • National Ambulance Service Command and Control Guidance Document review
  • Decision Making
  • Threat and Radicalisation
  • Log writing
  • Legislation: How the adversarial and inquisitorial systems work, Procedures, order and roles in events, Correct recording, collation and presentation of supporting evidence
  • The capabilities of HART
  • Flood management
  • Clinical aspects of CBRN
  • Post incident Procedures
  • Ambulance Command CPD

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course delegates will:

  • Have a background understanding to CBRNe.
  • Have a working knowledge of the Initial Operational Response (IOR)
  • Have an understanding of ambulance response capabilities.
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of command and control arrangements as per reference guidance.
  • Have an understanding of partner agencies roles and responsibilities.
  • Be able to demonstrate competency in decision making in response to major incident.
  • Be aware of the importance of robust record keeping.
  • Have experienced a mock court scenario aimed at preparing them for giving evidence at a public inquiry.

Intended Audience

This course is open to anyone who is an Operational (Bronze) Commander in their current role, or those looking for development into this role.


Eligibility Criteria

This course is targeted at Ambulance staff that, as part of their daily duties, may be required to perform the role of Operational Commander at scene of a major or other incident or those looking to develop into this role.

This is not a refresher course.  Once this course has been completed it is your responsibility to maintain a portfolio to show Continued Professional Development (CPD).

From time to time we receive delegate cancellations we, therefore, collate a reserve list.  Please contact the education centre via email to be placed on this list. 

Methods of Delivery

Blend of presentations, immersive exercises, group discussions and sessions with External Subject Matter Experts.

Dress Code

The dress code for the course is normal Trust uniform.  This must consist of a collared shirt or polo shirt as per the Mess rules below.

Please be advised that the dress for all guests in the mess is respectable and non-revealing.  Delegates are reminded that they are representing their Trust (and the Ambulance Service) whilst on a military establishment and must act accordingly.  The following items are not to be worn in the public rooms (Dining Room/Bar/TV Rooms) of the mess at any time:

  • T-shirts without collar
  • Sweatshirts/shirts without collar
  • Rugby/football tops
  • Ripped, torn or faded denim jeans
  • Skirts/dresses shorter than mid-thigh
  • Shorts, shell/track suits and clothing worn for sports and physical training
  • Trainers, flip-flops, sandals or slippers
  • Bomber/ski jackets, hoddie and body warmers including fleece jackets (cloakrooms are provided for outdoor coats)


Course Location

NARU Education Centre
Defence CBRN Centre
Thorneydown Road
Winterbourne Gunner
Wiltshire SP4 0ES

Photo identification is required for access to DCBRNC.  Please ensure you arrive with enough time to complete the security process, this may take an additional 15 minutes or up to 1 hour during busy periods.  May we suggest that you visit the site the day before (anytime as it is open 24hrs) to get your photo security pass and allow quicker entry on the morning of your course.

View map and directions here.


Accommodation is provided as part of the course at Winterbourne Gunner. You can check in from 1200hrs on the day before. No food is available until breakfast on day one of your course.

Please note some rooms do not have on-suite facilities. Winterbourne Gunner is a military site, we have no control over the accommodation.  Rooms are allocated on the day of arrival.

Please bring your own towel and toiletries.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided during the course, starting with breakfast on day one and finishing with lunch on the final day.

There is a café, cash bar and gym on site. Wi-Fi is available in the accommodation block, however, there is a charge, please speak with the Mess Manager for details.

Pre-read Downloads

The pre-course assignment must be completed and returned to at least 72 hours prior to attending the course. This is a mandatory requirement.  If you need any advice or assistance, please contact Jackie.

Any delegate found submitting another person work as their own will be referred to their Line Manager and NARU Head of Education. This could result in disciplinary.

You must ensure that you are familiar with the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Principles (JESIP) Joint Doctrine: Interoperability Framework document.

Please watch the Major Incident film and the individual chapters – Initial Response, M/Ethane, JDM, IIMARCH, Debrief  (Click on link below and then scroll down page)

Also watch the IED Awareness video, which can be found on the NARU Education Website – E-learning or click on the link below.

There will be assessments on each day of this course so your understanding of the above document is essential.

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